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From Helmut Tammen <>
Subject Re: cocoon and application configuration (maybe not long but short not also)
Date Tue, 01 Apr 2003 12:40:15 GMT
I´m not very experienced with Cocoon yet but have a detailed look at the 
portal-fw and authentication-fw. I think you´ll find the answer there. The 
portal loads it´s configuration from a set of xml files when a user logs on 
and saves it in the user session. There are some configuration items that a 
user can change others can only be changed by the administrator. The 
configuration is then read at various times during the session lifetime, 
also from xsl stylesheets.

Another possible way, I think, is to write your own transformers that e.g. 
do set the admininstrators e-mail address. These transformers could be 
initialized either via the sitemap in the components section or by reading 
its configuration data form an external file or database.

I imagine there are a hundred of other ways to solve your problem using 


On Tue, 1 Apr 2003 12:44:46 +0200, Leszek Gawron <> wrote:

> I started to learn web development some years ago with PHP. Up till now 
> some
> habits are still vivid. Some days ago I came up with a problem while
> developing simple application with cocoon that I cannot overcome. If you 
> ever
> used php you should be familar with the way that PHP gives you a 
> possibility
> to customize a web application. The only PHP app I'm using now is 
> MantisBT (a
> bugtracker) so my explanation will be based on this one. Mantis contains 
> a
> configuration file called config_inc.php that contains the application 
> options
> you can change (there are really a lot of them - all config options take 
> 40kB
> of text). That file is included into every php script. The options 
> configure
> all aspects of web application. The examples are:
> 	-application base url
> 	-smtp host
> 	-administrative options like
> 		-should application present an option to sign up or not
> 		-should user be able to reset his/hers password
> 		-should email notification be enabled or not
> 	-presentation options
> 		-should menu bar be displayed at top of the page, bottom or maybe
> 		  both
> 		-colors		-available languages
> 		-number of entries per page
> The way described above is ok for a scripting language like PHP. Cocoon 
> is not
> so I started searching for the way to provide a user with a file with all
> configuration options. We have different cocoon areas that we have to 
> cover:
> 1. Data
> 	There is no problem if data is generated dynamically with XSP - you can
> 	use XMlFileModule and query configuration from external file
> 2. Logic 	If logicsheet is being used (or actions) one could also use 
> input modules
> 	to read configuration from
> But then we end up with:
> 3. Presentation
> 	If one wants to use XSL to present data the only way to parametrize the
> 	stylesheet is to provide _ALL_ parameters in the sitemap. That is ok if
> 	you have 4-5 parameters (you can pass them all using map:parameter and
> 	sitemap is still quite readable). Imagine now you have 100 parameters 
> that
> 	strictly define presentation aspects. Another example: if you wanted to
> 	parametrize administrator's email that could be shown in different
> 	application pages you would have to pass this parameter to EVERY
> 	stylesheet that renders it.
> You could aggregate every static/dynamic data with a static configuration 
> file
> and then filter it out at last transformation but:
> 1. Is would not be nice for the performance
> 2. You would have to do a lot of XPath gymnastics
> 3. There still is a bug with caching pipelines and aggregated dynamic 
> content.
> It has been reported here:
> and here
> My idea: is it possible to modify the transformer so it could "see" all 
> the
> parameters without declaring them in sitemap? You just pass an input 
> module
> and it uses all variables it can query in it.
> 	ouzo

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